Incorporating SBIRT Into Social Work Curriculum

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs. It involves quickly screening individuals to assess the degree of risk, conducting a brief intervention designed to help motivate them to change their behavior, and referring them to treatment if necessary. Research has shown the SBIRT process works well with adults and that it is a highly promising approach for working with younger people. Despite its promise, the approach is not yet widely taught in social work programs.

CSWE and the SBIRT Social Work Consortium to presented the webinar, “Incorporating SBIRT Into Social Work Curriculum", on July 14, 2016 to support social work faculty in integrating SBIRT into their teaching. Presenters introduced the SBIRT model, explained why all social work students should be trained in SBIRT, and provided examples of how they have incorporated SBIRT into their program's own curriculum. A recording of the webinar is available as well as the presentation slides under the Handouts tab. Participants are encouraged to join the SBIRT Social Work Consortium e-mail group for further conversation and resources (e-mail

Teri Browne

Associate Professor, University of South Carolina

Teri Browne, PhD, MSW, NSW-C is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work. She earned her MSW at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her PhD at the University of Chicago. Dr. Browne worked as a medical social worker for 13 years and is an internationally recognized expert on nephrology social work and psychosocial barriers to chronic disease outcomes. Dr. Browne is the editor of the Handbook of Social Work (1st & 2nd editions, Mandarin & Korean translations) and co-directs the interprofessional education committee for health sciences at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer Putney

Assistant Professor, Simmons College

Dr. Jennifer Putney is an Assistant Professor at the Simmons College School of Social Work. She has 15 years of clinical practice experience, with a focus on working in outpatient settings with adults and adolescents with substance use disorders. Dr. Putney is the principle investigator on a SAMHSA funded three-year grant to Simmons College to train health professionals in SBIRT with adults and older adults. She is collaborating with a team of researchers and clinicians from Boston Children's Hospital on a three-year grant funded by SAMHSA to develop practitioners' capacities in SBIRT with adolescents at risk for substance use disorders. In addition, Dr. Putney collaborates with colleagues at Simmons on a three-year grant funded by HRSA to prepare students to work in integrated primary care and behavioral health settings with children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth.

Joan Carlson

Assistant Professor, Indiana University

Dr. Joan Carlson is an Assistant Professor with Indiana University's School of Social Work, Indianapolis campus. She has a number of publications/presentations spotlighting the development of substance use prevention and intervention materials for adolescent youth. As a Visiting Research Scientist with Mayo Clinic, she coordinated an in-house research project to study ethnically diverse college students and health risk behaviors. She currently serves as the principal investigator on a grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, Advancing Multidisciplinary Education for Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)" a consortium of Indiana University's Schools of Social Work, Nursing, and Medicine to integrate SBIRT into Indiana's healthcare and allied health care education systems.


07/14/2016 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
07/14/2016 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes In this webinar, social work faculty introduce the SBIRT model and provide examples for how it can be incorporated into social work curriculum.